US-based Proteus Digital Health will open a manufacturing facility in UK in partnership with NHS England and UK Trade & Investment to produce pills with sensors that help track medication adherence.
Proteus Digital Health is partnering with Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN), The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), Oxford University, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and Oxford Academic Health Science Network (OAHSN) to study the impact of digital medicines such as ingestible pills with sensors on patients’ medication taking behavior and treatment adherence.
Proteus Digital Health will construct a manufacturing site in UK, its first outside the US, providing employment to over 200 highly skilled individuals.
The facility will serve as the company’s global manufacturing and operations hub and will bring significant investment and technology to the UK.
“I’m delighted that Proteus Digital Health is establishing their first international manufacturing site here in Britain, creating 200 highly skilled jobs,”
Said David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK.
“It’s a proof that our work to attract high-tech business to the UK is providing real benefits for people at home – all part of our long term economic plan.”
The company chose to invest in the UK over other frontrunners Singapore and Switzerland due to the former’s robust base of high-tech manufacturing sites, tax breaks on intellectual property and its expertise in testing products in a cost-effective way, according to Don Cowling, Senior Vice President of Proteus Digital Health.
“This partnership will clearly benefit patients, the NHS and the economy,”
Said Miles Ayling, Director of Innovation at NHS England.
“Our lives are becoming increasingly digital, a variety of sectors have already undergone fundamental changes through the introduction of innovative digital approaches,”
Said Dr. Hakim Yadi, Chief Executive Officer of the Northern Health Science Alliance.
“Healthcare is clearly the next sector to benefit from such changes and we are delighted to be working with Proteus to pioneer the use of this technology at scale in the North of England to the benefit of patients and the NHS.”
Proteus is a well-known innovator in creating a new line of pills, products, services and data systems to improve drug compliance and medication adherence, especially in chronic care management.
Called digital medicines, these new pharmaceuticals consist of edible sensors in pills, wearable patches and wireless devices that integrate and transmit the data.
Silicon, copper and magnesium sensors of 1 square millimeter size are embedded in pills and when taken by patients they are activated by fluids in the stomach.
The same is communicated to a wearable patch which registers the ingestion time, date and the unique signature of the sensor with 100% accuracy.
These systems are capable of documenting the actual ingestion of oral pills and also differentiate between various types and doses of drugs taken simultaneously. They would also typically collect other physiologic data and transmit it over a secure server using wireless devices so that periodic reports are generated to be reviewed by both the patient and the physicians.
Non-compliance and poor medication adherence is a big hurdle in delivering healthcare. According to World Health Organization, 50% of chronic patients do not follow their treatment recommendations. Costs incurred due to poor medication adherence are estimated to be nearly $300 billion annually.
“The technology platform Proteus offers will allow digital health to become a reality, giving patients a role in managing their disease and allowing the management of chronic disease and drug compliance to be delivered in a much more cost effective way.”
“Oxford University and the Oxford Academic Health Science Network look forward to collaborating with Proteus to bring these exciting technologies to patients and improve their health.”
Said Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, Oxford University
“Some patients have trouble taking their medicines for a host of different reasons, which may result in decreased effect of the therapy and unnecessary costs,” said Dr. Robert Winter, Managing Director, EAHSN. “Through this partnership, we will explore both the clinical and economic value of digital health technology in the treatment of hypertension.”
Drug adherence is a key factor in achieving positive health outcomes in chronic care and digital medicines will have a vital role to play in it in the future. In fact, a report released by Frost & Sullivan predicted a boom in the production of smart pills in the next five to seven years.
The edible sensor technology developed by Proteus is patient-centric, scalable and customizable to a number of therapeutic areas such as metabolic, cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric care.
By improving medication adherence, smart pills not only reduce unnecessary expenditure but also provide valuable insights into how a patient’s body is responding to the medication.